The growing infusion of Iranian-backed Lebanese and Iraqi Shiite fighters into the Syrian civil war is causing some veteran pundits to panic. Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, warns that "Iran is beating the U.S. in Syria."

Published in Middle East

The outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011 surprised many people. Until that time, it seemed that the 40-year reign of the Assad dynasty, at first under its founder, Hafiz, and then under his son and heir, Bashar, had succeeded in turning Syria into a strong and stable state with governmental institutions, military, and security forces.

Published in Middle East

Russia has thrown a monkey wrench into Western plans for Syria by promising to deliver its top-of-the-line S300 surface-to-air missile system to the Bashar al-Assad government. Exactly when the missiles might arrive remains unclear; the last word from Moscow is that the missiles are not yet in place, which means the matter is up for bargaining.

Published in Middle East

Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum (where I am associate fellow) replies this morning to Bret Stephens' June 3rd Wall Street Journal column, "The Muslim Civil War: Standing by while the Sunnis and Shiites fight it out invites disaster."

Published in Middle East

On this Memorial Day, it's important to remember that the very same U.S. policies that created al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1980s—leading to the horrific attacks of 9/11—are today allowing al-Qaeda to metastasize all around the Muslim world.

Published in Terrorism

In his article "The Muslim Civil War," Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal disagrees with my argument about Syria. He characterizes the position I hold this way:

Published in Middle East

With growing demands for the international community to arm and support Syrian opposition groups, a regional expert speaking at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa has called on the United Nations to take the lead in encouraging dialogue among the multiplicity of stakeholder groups inside Syria.

Published in Middle East

"Syria's Descent into Madness" is the cover story of the May 27 Time magazine, recounting the act of ritual cannibalism by a Syrian rebel commander that transfixed the West last week.

Published in Middle East

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